When Herbie was born, it was easy to see that something wasn’t quite right. He was unable to lift his head and keep his balance, let alone walk, and made his way at nine weeks old to Road Dogs and Rescue in Los Angeles.
He arrived in a plastic bin, and rescue founder Nikki Carvey agreed to take Herbie in with the help of a generous foster family. His tiny head was the size and shape of a tennis ball, and a visit to the vet determined the puppy has hydrocephalus, or “water on the brain.”
Because of this, Herbie has severe balance issues and needs help from a neurologist and lots of physical therapy to build his strength. And that’s exactly what his caretakers are helping him do—it’s impossible not to fall in love!
After just a few days Herbie’s appetite grew and his spirits lifted. He still needed to be supported to eat, but boy is he a hungry pup!
Herbie! This little hydrocephalus boy is getting stronger but still can’t stand by himself. He’s on two meds to slow down the production of fluid. The next four weeks are the crucial time period. If he can make it through without symptoms getting worse, he stands a good chance. Sometimes they need a brain shunt Inserted but he is too small now and would have to wait until he is six months old. Thanks so much to @gotbulleez for fostering him ❤️ #RoadDogsandRescue #LittleHeroHerbie
At less than three months old, Herbie was too young to have a shunt inserted to drain some of the fluid from his head—instead, he began taking medications to slow its buildup. And doing water therapy. And trying acupuncture. And playing with his caretakers and foster family.
Herbie’s physical therapy begins @twohandsfourpaws Help share his journey and show your support for this feisty 8 week-old Frenchie boy dealing with hydrocephalus. We are doing everything we can for him ❤️ #lovewillsavetheday
A video posted by Nikki – Road Dogs & Rescue (@roadogs) on
Herbie was even fitted for an itty bitty wheelchair to help him walk.
And he frequently practices putting one paw in front of the other on a little treadmill.
The amazing people at Two Hands Four Paws have been taking great care of Herbie and helping him overcome his most challenging physical hurdles, and we can actually WATCH him improve! He’s already holding his head up on his own!
Herbie!! Visited little man today and he was holding his head up while doing some standing therapy!The goal is for him to keep getting stronger until he is able to have the surgery to place a brain shunt to redirect the fluid. Some dogs with hydrocephalus make it and some don’t. We are just trying to give Herbie every opportunity to succeed. If you’d like to donate to support Road Dogs, the link is in my bio. Thanks for caring! #littleheroherbie
As he continues to build strength during therapy, Herbie is one step closer to living his best life. At six months, he will hopefully get a shunt to keep the fluid drained, and will make the right person a very, very happy companion.
“Some people have suggested Herbie be euthanized,” Nikki wrote on Bored Panda. But as a rescuer, I believe that every dog should be given a chance. As long as they show they want to live and fight, I’ll fight with them.”
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